Valley: Shadow of the Crown It is a medieval RPG game with only one goal, which can be used by players with low or no vision. For this reason, there are no graphics at all, only a rich soundscape to guide you through its fantasy world.
You play as Alexandra, a princess who was born blind and second in line to the throne. When her brother took over as king, Alexandra was sent to a small castle on the outskirts of the kingdom, but on the way the convoy was attacked by invading troops. Alexandra escaped and tried to find the way home, you need to help her in her journey, just trust your ears and intuition.
Want to know how RPG works with only audio, I jumped into The Vale for an hour, which is amazing. This story is mainly told through character dialogue. When you have the opportunity to explore an area, you will have clear goals to follow.
For example, after escaping from the convoy assailant, Alexandra said she needed to drink something and listen carefully to the sound of the stream in the soundscape. It sounds like there is a place not far from her, so I use WASD to navigate a wooded area. The rustling of bushes and the breaking of branches indicate my actions. Until the sound of running water gets closer and closer, I reach Xiao Creek. The audio was surprisingly crisp, and I found myself unable to concentrate without closing my eyes, relying entirely on my ears.
Everything is built for accessibility, just like every menu has an audio description, including your inventory screen. The dubbing is great and completely takes you into the ruthless medieval world of Vale.
One feature I am particularly curious about is combat. I don’t know how Falling Squirrel will handle it from a strictly audio point of view, but it is conceptually clever. When fighting someone in a battle, Alexandra will stick to one point, which means you only need to focus on the direction of the sword swing-left, right or forward (use the arrow keys to guide your attack) .
Knowing which direction to hit depends on listening to the audio queue. Some may be as obvious as the enemy yelling at you, but others are more subtle, such as the clank of armor, a person shifting their weight or their heavy breathing. You basically need to wait for them to attack and parry before making a second kill. The detail in the audio is excellent, not to mention the incredible tension.
Falling Squirrel has created something very special for The Vale, if you want to see it, it can be steam, this Epic Games Store, with Itchy. Make sure you have a good pair of headphones before playing.